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Russia to Complete Asteroid Shield Plan by Yearend

RIA Novosti [1]
March 12, 2013

Russia will complete a plan for a program to protect itself against threats from space by the end of this year, Civil Defense and Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Tuesday.

That comes a month after a meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere [2] undetected by existing space-monitoring systems and slammed into Russia’s Urals on February 15, accompanied by a massive sonic boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the city of Chelyabinsk [3], injuring over 1,500.

“The relevant program will be approved by the end of the year, and we will begin its step-by-step implementation,” Puchkov said, adding the program will include early warning systems and public emergency training courses.

Federal Space Agency Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin proposed a federal body be put in charge of developing a system for averting the asteroid threat, adding that so far the activities of various government agencies lack coordination and do not have a uniform operating basis.

Full article here [1]